Honolulu

Things to do in Honolulu

You'll likely spend most of your time here at the beach. For those times when you're not digging your toes into the soft sand, turn to this list of top things to do in Honolulu.

Catch a live performance of either an off-Broadway play or musical at the Diamond Head Theater.

For the largest collection of Asian, Western, and Islamic art in Hawaii, head to the Honolulu Museum of Art. 

The Aloha Stadium, located near Pearl Harbor, holds many American football and soccer paraphernalia. It's a great family-friendly way to spend an afternoon.

Thousands of animals, including mammals, reptiles, and birds, are on view at the Honolulu Zoo. The zoo offers gardens where you can relax and hosts overnight family camping trips.

History buffs flock to the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific. Pair your excursion with a guided tour through Pearl Harbor to view the USS Arizona, which was bombed during World War II.

Hawaiian monarchs still reside at the grand Iolani Palace. Take one of the guided tours or classes, or attend one of the free music events, which take place each Friday.

Bob’s sells one product mainly, the evocative and characteristically Hawaiian four-string guitar. There are ukes of ribbon-grained koa that cost hundreds and soprano ukes of mahogany that go for $90 and touristy ones of laminated wood for 50 bucks.

What to Expect: Framed by Diamond Head, one of the world’s most climbed (extinct) volcanoes, and with nearly two miles of continuous white sand and palm trees, this iconic beach is almost always full of tourists and surfers.

Located in the Ala Moana shopping center, Panya Bistro is an offshoot of the Panya Bakery, a Japanese bakery founded by Alice and Annie Yeung. The bistro is a sort of expansion on the original bakery concept, providing customers with a full-service restaurant, a bakery, and a full bar.

The Honolulu Museum of Art is home to a 60,000-piece collection of art, with an emphasis on Asian works, including Buddhist and Shinto sculptures and Korean ceramics. More than 10,000 examples of Japanese ukiyo-ewoodblock prints comprise the James A. Michener collection.

Located in Chinatown, this Honolulu department store is easily recognizable by the words “LAI FONG” written in large red letters across the building’s slightly worn, white façade.

Located at the Moana Surfrider Hotel, the Beach Bar faces famous Waikiki Beach and provides customers with unparalleled views of the sand and water from beneath its signature banyan tree.

Make the trip to the zoo, pausing to inspect a massive immobile tortoise taking a dust bath, then gawping at the unlikely spectacle of an ambulating landmass, which turns out to be a black rhinoceros.

Established in 1952 by the grandson of Portuguese immigrants, Leonard’s is best known for its malasadas, traditional Portuguese pastries made of fried dough rolled in sugar or filled with puddings.

The Veranda at the Kahala Hotel & Resort transports guests to a bygone era in Hawaii’s history. This plantation-inspired lounge overlooks the resort’s Dolphin Lagoon with both indoor and and al fresco seating.

A National Historical Landmark, ‘Iolani Palace is the official residence of Hawaii’s monarchy. Built by King Kalakaua in 1882, the fortress was home to both Kalakaua and his sister Queen Lili’uokalani.

Owned by the Kona Brewing Company, the Koko Marina Pub is located on the docks of the Koko Marina Center and provides diners with expansive views of the marina and the surrounding mountains.

Founded with the purpose of promoting Hawaii as a bastion of the arts and fostering artistic relations between the east and west, thirtyninehotel is part art gallery, part performance venue.

Located at the east end of Waikiki, Kapiolani Park is home to Hawaii’s famous Diamond Head (a volcanic crater), as well as the Honolulu Zoo. The park is named after Queen Kapiolani, the wife of King Kalakaua, and was established in the 1870’s.

This shop offers a vast treasure trove of Japanese antiques, from lacquered 19th-century chests to small combs.

Henry Adaniya might be the city’s most improbable new restaurateur. He closed his acclaimed Chicago restaurant Trio—where chefs Rick Tramonto and Grant Achatz made their names—to bring the upscale hot dog craze to Honolulu in 2007.